Do They Know It’s Christmas? — Day Three
Christmas Connection: The film takes place in December, and the final scene is on Christmas Day. Fortunately for Mel Gibson, Hanukkah is given a pass altogether.
First of all, take a good look at Mel’s eyes in that poster and tell me you’re the least bit surprised at his behavior recently. Even Danny Glover looks reasonably suspicious. Either that or he sees where his career is going after this series.
That said, I honestly don’t think I’ve seen this film since the late 90s. I know there are people who worship at its altar, and it’s an undeniably fun, exciting action film, but for some reason it never quite clicked over into classic must re-watch status for me. Maybe it was the ever-diminishing returns from the sequels, none of which I can say I cared for in the least. And while I usually try not to hold bad sequels against a film (hey there Star Wars), just knowing that Joe Pesci and Chris Rock are waiting down the road just sort of dampens my enthusiasm.
Speaking of the sequels, what kind of tagline was, “The magic is back” anyway? What, the magic of a suicidal, borderline psychotic cop helping his partner save his daughter from an underground porn ring? That kind of magic? And then for the third film, they trotted out, “The magic is back again.” I was mildly disappointed the fourth film didn’t feature, “The magic is still hanging around, apparently.” Also, if you look at the movie posters for the four films in succession, Gibson actually offers up a pretty decent history of mens’ hairstyles from the late 80s and early 90s.
But the original film is still a classic buddy cop picture, and undeniably the template for a good majority of the buddy cop films to follow it. Looking back at photos from the film when putting together the title montage for this series, I was struck by how charismatic Gibson was back then. He was damned good-looking and charming as hell. Now, as we know, most likely from his Jew-hating pact with Satan.
Do They Know It’s Christmas?: Well, the film does kick off with a rendition of “Jingle Bell Rock,” and we’re introduced to Riggs at a Christmas tree lot doubling as a drug den. So yes, it’s a white Christmas, just not in the way you’d think. And we wrap things up on Christmas Day, with Riggs giving Murtaugh the bullet he was going to use to kill himself. What we don’t see is Murtaugh giving Riggs the clip of ammo he was going to empty into Riggs if he didn’t stay away from his daughter.